Social Distancing and Social Capital: Why U.S. Counties Respond Differently to COVID-19   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Abstract: "Since social distancing is the primary strategy for slowing the spread of many diseases, understanding why U.S. counties respond differently to COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] is critical for designing effective public policies. Using daily data from about 45 million mobile phones to measure social distancing we examine how counties responded to both local COVID-19 cases and statewide shelter-in-place orders. We find that social distancing increases more in response to cases and official orders in counties where individuals historically (1) engaged less in community activities and (2) demonstrated greater willingness to incur individual costs to contribute to social objectives. Our work highlights the importance of these two features of social capital-- community engagement and individual commitment to societal institutions--in formulating public health policies."

Report Number:
NBER Working Paper No. 27393; National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 27393
2020 Wenzhi Ding, Ross Levine, Chen Lin, and Wensi Xie
Retrieved From:
National Bureau of Economic Research: https://www.nber.org/
Media Type:
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